Mothers-in-law tend to have a bad reputation. But Patty Resecker put those clichés to rest when she made an incredible offer to her son’s wife.
Getting along with your mother-in-law isn’t exactly a walk in the park for many people. But when Kayla Jones became broody, her husband’s mother Patty became a sort of guardian angel – or guardian “oven.” Incredibly, Patty agreed to carry her own grandchild as a surrogate.
This extraordinary tale of family altruism began 12 years ago when Kayla – a nurse from Texarcana, Arkansas – was just 17. The teenager was informed that she would need a partial hysterectomy because of a uterine tumor. As the tumor was benign, though, Kayla did not need chemotherapy and her ovaries would not be removed.
However, Kayla was subsequently given some shocking news – she would never be able to carry a child herself. At the time, this didn’t bother her much, as she later told Inside Edition. “When you’re 17, it doesn’t hit you as much that you can’t have children,” Kayla explained. “You’ve got prom and dates… what kind of cars people are driving. You know, that kind of teenager stuff.”
In 2012 – six years after her tumor had been removed – Kayla and long-term boyfriend Cody Jones got married. And as the years went by, the couple started to think about becoming parents. After their efforts to adopt a child proved fruitless, they began looking for a surrogate mother. However, they simply couldn’t find the right person.
But Cody’s mother Patty Resecker, who was approaching 50, found that a lightbulb had switched on in her head. “I kept seeing Cody and Kayla kind of get sad and think, ‘What’s our next step?’” she told Inside Edition. “I told Cody and Kayla that I would do it if I can.”
She had already had three kids without complications. But because Patty was menopausal, during her first trimester she would need to be injected with hormones on a daily basis for the pregnancy to be successful. As Kayla was a nurse, though, she could at least give Patty the shots herself. After many tests and long conversations, a plan was finalized. Then, in January 2017 doctors took 12 mature eggs from Kayla for fertilization and transfer.
Embryo transfer is often fraught with difficulties and sadly, the trio’s initial attempt was unsuccessful. But in May 2017 Cody and Kayla discovered that Patty was pregnant with their child. The elated parents-to-be prepared a surprise announcement for their surrogate, who had no idea that new test results were due.
Cody and Kayla broke the news by delivering the positive pregnancy test and a heart-shaped box – which they called a “little present” in a video subsequently uploaded to Facebook – to Patty’s desk at work. “Oh my God, it’s so exciting!” a tearful Patty exclaimed, clutching tissues to her face, as it dawned on her that she was carrying her son’s child. “Y’all tricked me!”
Patty was now officially eating for two. And soon it was revealed that the new Jones Jr. would be a boy. In June 2017 the trio announced the gender of the baby to family and friends by letting off bright blue flares in a field. By this point, Patty and Kayla had been given a total of almost 100 injections to facilitate the pregnancy.
Throughout the summer, Patty tried to make her daughter-in-law feel as close to the growing baby as possible, going so far as to film her stomach when it was moving. But Kayla said that having a family member as her surrogate meant that she never felt left out.
“One of the benefits of having someone very close to you carry is I could go over there almost every day if I wanted to and talk to [the baby] and feel him kick and feel really involved,” Kayla explained to Inside Edition. “If it were a stranger, especially a stranger that lived far away from me, we wouldn’t have had that experience.”
The months that followed were peppered with the usual ultrasounds and blood pressure tests, which all went without a hitch. In November 2017 – at 34 weeks pregnant – Patty celebrated a major milestone in her own life: her 50th birthday. By that time, Kayla and Cody had decided that they would name their son Kross and had decorated a cozy nursery for him.
As the Christmas season began, the big day was fast approaching, and Kayla could not thank Patty – her “wonderful oven” – enough for everything that she’d done. Moreover, if Patty was an oven, Kross was well and truly baked. A December 2017 test estimated that “chunky monkey” Kross already weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces.
That meant that the baby was in a very healthy 98th percentile for weight. But as a result, the surrogate would need to be induced or have a C-section if the tot didn’t come out within a fortnight. The little man eventually arrived by C-section a few days after Christmas, and the whole family gathered excitedly at the hospital.
Awaiting the C-section on December 30, bed-bound Patty had seemed as unfazed as ever by the demands of being a stand-in mother. A Facebook video showed her being asked if she was nervous, with the brave grandma replying, “Not so much.” Then, at 6:01 p.m., Kross Allen Jones was finally born, weighing 8 pounds 2 ounces.
Eleven days later, once Patty had recovered from a cold, the newborn was reunited with her for the first time – and the love in the room was great. Reflecting in another Facebook video on her decision to carry Kross, Patty said, “A child is a lifetime commitment, and I knew there weren’t two more deserving people than them. To see them with Kross and see the parents they’re already becoming thrills my soul.”
Kayla, meanwhile – who Patty says is already a “pro” mom – has been full of praise for Patty. “Mothers-in-law tend to overstep, but Patty is definitely not like that,” Kayla told Inside Edition. “She’s been so great making me feel like he’s mine, even though I didn’t give birth to him.”
Kayla and Patty’s bond has proved that the supposed rifts between women and their mothers-in-law, often seen in sitcoms and movies, is certainly not universal. And Kayla told ALT Magazine that she now knows Patty better than “most people know… themselves.” “I learned that Patty likes peanut butter toast and bacon for breakfast, sleeps sitting up, hardly ever drinks a soda and definitely loves with all of her heart,” Kayla added.
Thanks to the woman whom she described in a Facebook post as having “the biggest heart, the best laugh, and the sweetest soul,” Kayla can now get on with all the joys of mothering a baby – bathing, feeding, napping, cuddling… and being woken up multiple times in the middle of the night. The Joneses’ dog of six years, Remi, has also grown fond of her new human brother.
Now nearly two months old, Kross has a bond with his grandmother that very few people can claim to possess. Kayla and Cody’s baby came from a somewhat surprising place, and the pregnancy required lots of hard work. But Patty remains modest about her part in bringing Kross into the world, telling Inside Edition, “It’s their baby; I was just the valet.”